UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TWP., Pa. - There's been a budge in the sludge debate that's been the talk of one Northampton County community.
Ron Angle, the former county councilman who has threatened to lay down the human waste fertilizer, said he's come up with an alternative, that is to create a nonprofit called "Heal the Land."
The goal is to raise money to pay for organic fertilizer to use instead of sludge. Angle and several other farmers have contributed more than $6,000, but they said they need $6,000 more.
"I'm better off writing a check for $2,000 than I am for losing half the value of my home," said Maud Davis, an area landowner, who has already contributed $2,000 to the fund.
For the past half-year, Angle has threatened to use sludge or human waste as fertilizer on his vast farmland. With the new plan, he is asking the community to contribute. Another $6,000 is needed to pay for the ground cover. It's money the township voted against giving Angle a week ago.
Neighbor Marie Stoutland said she doesn't think it will be difficult to raise the money.
"No, not at all. In fact, today I'm writing a check. It's in my car now," she said.
Tracy Gorman, whose property borders Angle-owned land and has contemplated moving, said she isn't yet sold on the announcement.
"I'll believe it when I see it. This has been going on since September or October," she said.
Angle said he's hopeful grants can eventually sustain the financial need.
The township said it's thrilled with the news but needs to see the details.
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